Two papers based on Webster University doctoral student research projects received best—paper awards at Academy of Business Research (ABR) conference held in San Antonio, Texas October 28-30.

Mark Fellhauer, left, and his parents Marge and Rick, arrive early for a session at the Academy of Business Research conference in San Antonio. Brad Thomas, front, review his notes prior to his presentation.

Mark Fellhauer, left, and his parents Marge and Rick, arrive early for a session at the Academy of Business Research conference in San Antonio. Brad Thomas, front, review his notes prior to his presentation.

Brad Thomas and Mark Fellhauer are students in the Walker School’s Doctor of Management program. Thomas’ paper, Union and Organizational Commitment as Concurrent Attitudes, won the award in the Management & Health track. In a survey of the St. Louis region’s Teamsters Local 688, he researched dual commitment – whether a union member can be loyal to both union and employer. Thomas received several questions from the audience about his findings.

Fellhauer’s paper, Decision Making in Commercial Banking: Adaptive Learning & Strategic Resource Movement, tied for the Management Strategy track award with a team from University of Central Oklahoma. Drawing upon the attack-defend-retreat framework of Walker strategy professor Doug O’Bannon, Fellhauer explores the nature of investment decisions of individual banks in the post-recession era.

Both students have John P. Orr, associate professor of strategic management, as their dissertation chair and co-author. Marketing associate professor Eric Rhiney also co-authored with Thomas.

Fellhauer is working toward his dissertation proposal. Thomas, who works as an engineering technician for Balchem Inc., successfully defended his dissertation in September and is ready to graduate.

Dr. John Orr and ABR director Dr. Randall Valentine

Webster associate professor John P. Orr, left, and ABR director Dr. Randall Valentine discusses the possibility of bringing a conference to St. Louis.

Fellhauer was joined at the conference by his parents Rick and Marge. as commercial banking veterans, they found the conference especially interesting, particularly since the host Drury Inn occupies the former Alamo National Bank building.

More information regarding the Doctorate of Management Program is available online at  or by contacting Merryl Hall at 314-968-7020.

How You See Yourself Impacts Networking

On November 18, 2015, in Career Insight, by Walker News

We’ve heard it a million times: “In order to find job opportunities, you have to network!”

This message is as true as it is obvious. However, if you ask any given association, organization, support group or hiring manager, you’ll probably find that everyone has a different idea of what networking actually means. Things like:

  • Talking with people in networking groups about job openings you can chase.
  • Connecting with friends past and present in any field, alerting them that you really need a job.
  • Calling or meeting for coffee, asking contacts to pass your resume around to everyone they know.
  • Adding as many contacts to your LinkedIn profile as possible so anyone who’s looking for a good worker can find you.

But these approaches don’t let the real “you” shine through, instead potentially coming off as needy or desperate.

The key to smart, strategic networking starts with you and your core beliefs about yourself. Long periods without solid job leads or receiving rejection letters – or not hearing back from the interviewer at all – can take its toll on how you view yourself. Too many people get lazy and make assumptions, like “they want someone cheaper” or “I’m too old” and “They already had someone in mind.” While some of these things could be true, you should be looking internally and asking the harder questions. Things like “Does my networking strategy have holes in it?” or “How can I network smarter?” and “How can I add value while networking with employers who don’t have an opening?”

Do you notice the difference between the two approaches? One assumes you are the victim. The other shows you know you have something to offer. Your response reveals how you see yourself. And if you’re making excuses, the time has come to take the next step in positioning yourself as someone worth networking with.

How do you do that? By creating an attraction strategy that helps you identify what will draw employers to you. Have this nailed down, and making contacts is the easy part:

  1. Identify the right people to create a personal “connection” within a focused industry or targeted company.
  2. Speak confidently. Develop a compelling message so others will want to help you make connections, give advice and most importantly become your advocate. Put yourself in their shoes – would you be inspired to help you?
  3. Have a genuine interest in them. Look for ways you can make connections for them.
  4. Get comfortable with the unknown. Anticipate and believe that the unexpected will happen!

This is more than just seeing the glass half full. This is discovering core beliefs about yourself and having the confidence to live them out. It’s putting those core beliefs on display for others, believing that doing so will lead to opportunities you may never have even imagined before.

How are you creating this attraction strategy?


david hults-web

David Hults is a renowned Career Coach, Author and Speaker. Purchase his latest book at and receive a free online change behavior assessment. Learn more about how he can activate your career at Follow David’s blog at






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On Saturday, November 7, students from across the region participated in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) programming contest at the Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University.  As one of the biggest and most influential programming contests internationally, the contest pits teams of three university students against eight complex, real-world problems, with a grueling five-hour deadline. Huddled around a single computer, competitors race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance. Walker School faculty Dr. Xiaoyuan Suo and Dr. Brenda Boyce organized the event and coached the Webster teams.

The ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest is an annual multi-tiered competitive programming competition among the universities of the world. The contest is sponsored by IBM with headquarters at Baylor University. It is considered to be the most prestigious and competitive programming contest in the world for university students. Each year, the contest attracts over a hundred thousand undergraduate students around the world to solve 8 or more very challenging programming puzzles.

Webster University has served as a host for the ACM ICPC programming contest for the Mid-Central US region for over ten years. Twelve teams from six

Gorlok 1 Team with Coaches Brenda Boyce and Xiaoyuan Suo.

Gorlok 1 Team with Coaches Brenda Boyce and Xiaoyuan Suo.

universities participated in Saturday’s contest. Webster had two teams participating: Gorlok1 (Paul Derrien, Matthew Schupack and Jennifer Deutchmann), won 3rd place, and Gorlok2 (Joshua Gerber, Matthew Kriegel and Elie Regev), won 5th place. Among all teams of the entire Mid-Central region, including University of Chicago, Washington University at Saint Louis, Northwestern University and many others, the Webster University teams again placed in the upper tier. Among all 146 participating teams worldwide, Webster ranked number 36 (Gorlok1) and number 44 (Gorlok2).

The accomplishment of these six students demonstrates that Webster University has a competitive and top tier computer science program. In addition to the team competition, four Webster students place in top 100 worldwide rankings for competitive programmers. Three placed top 10 in the United States for competitive programmers.

According to Dr. Suo, “The problem sets this year were much more difficult than last year, and yet, one of our teams, Gorlok1, was one of the leaders of the region during the first half of the contest. They were also leader of our site during most of the contest.”

THe ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest made significant changes this year with all regional contests now judged online. This requires bullet-proof system testings and proxy server configurations. Dr. Suo and Dr. Boyce worked with the Webster DTS and networking group for over a month to resolve various issues in preparation for a successful contest.

Overall it was a successful event and the Walker School looks forward to hosting it again in the future! More information regarding the undergraduate computer science programs available at Webster can be found HERE.


Three faculty from the Department of Management – Professor David Brennan, Assistant Professor Eric Rhiney, and Assistant Professor Dustin Smith recently attended the 20th Annual Marketing Management Association Fall Educators Conference held in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 16 – 19, 2015.   The conference highlighted the unique combination of art and science, creativity and rigor required for effective marketing with a conference theme of “The Art and Science of Marketing Education.” This conference brought together marketing educators from around the world in order to explore best practices for balancing established versus emerging themes in marketing theory and practice.

The Walker School team attended multiple workshops, presented 4 papers and served on a panel discussion. All papers can be found in the conference proceedings HERE.

Dr. Brennan & Dr. Rhiney presented a joint paper on “The Challenge of Teaching International Students”. Their paper suggests that the ability to successfully teach international students attending U.S. universities is extremely important for students and for professors.  Dr. Brennan and Dr. Rhiney discussed several key aspects of teaching international students in the U.S. university environment and offered suggestions as to effective teaching techniques.

Dr. Brennan presented a paper on “Best Practices for Managing Internationally Diverse Classrooms.” His presentation focused on the benefits of putting international students at ease, engaging and involving them more in class activities and incorporating as a teaching/learning resource.  Dr. Brennan also participated in a panel discussion on this topic.

Dr. Smith presented a paper on “Teaching CSR & Business Ethics Using Live Case Studies” and Dr. Rhiney presented a paper on “The Elephant in the Room: Do Your Outcomes Match Industry Needs?”

This conference provided an excellent opportunity for Walker School faculty to share their expertise along with the global perspective that is a part of Webster University’s mission. Their experiences are an indication of the innovative teaching and learning that can be found at the Walker School!


Faculty Profile: Dr. Jeff Haldeman

On October 26, 2015, in Faculty Insights, by Walker News

We sat down with Dr. Jeff Haldeman to find out more about his experience and the innovative new stackable certificate and master’s program in Change Leadership that he has launched at the Walker School of Business & Technology.  Dr. Haldeman’s official bio can be found HERE. More information on the Change Leadership Program can be found HERE.

Tell us a Dr. Jeff Haldemanlittle about your professional experience:

I am an author, consultant, and professor at the Walker School of Business & Technology.  As a professor and consultant, I have 25 years of experience teaching managers to apply change models and methods to improve their organizations. I’ve taught at numerous universities and published journal articles on topics like organizational learning and brutality in the workplace. I’ve always had a strong penchant for what works, not wanting to get hung-up on too much intellectual knowledge or on methodological frameworks. We need them, but we need to know when to scrap them in order to live, and act in the moment. It is often in high tension, high-risk situations, where solutions to business problems are not readily apparent. We must step into these situations with confidence and hope that the situation itself will reveal our solutions. We have the answers. It is our mindsets and emotions that keep us from seeing them. Can we learn to see, know, and feel in new ways? That is often the question. It’s my job to coach and consult to help make that happen.


How long have you been in St. Louis?

I came to St. Louis 13 years ago because of the opportunity at Webster University. Webster offers a unique and strategically evolving global perspective and a hands-on approach to teaching that I appreciate. It’s given me opportunities for innovation like the Change Leadership certificates.


What do you like about teaching?

I like the opportunity to talk about the latest approaches in organizational development and change leadership. These are multidisciplinary fields that draw on my broad interests in business, the liberal arts, and global trends and realities. I like to help my students frame management dilemmas from new and different angles. That’s what good consultants and teachers do. I don’t make the distinction between thought life and action that some do. More constructive thinking will lead to better-informed action. More than we may like, we do what we think.


Why is Change Leadership important?

In our turbulent environments, we are beset by disruptive innovations. When so much is up in the air so much of the time, it’s like a roller coaster. We need to let ourselves go with the flow some of the time. As change leaders, we control what we can control, for now, and accept that control is always a more or less thing. If we insist on certainty and low risk all the time, we get what we pay for. We are just as creative and innovative as we will let ourselves be. We must believe in the ultimate potential of human beings to live up to our expectations and invent new things! Otherwise, we founder.


What other innovative projects are you working on right now?  

The stackable certificate model is unique at Webster. I’m working to get my first book published. It discusses the resiliency and imagination required by an effective leader of change. I also plan to collaborate with a former doctoral student to publish a case study of a consulting project we worked on together.

As we developed the Change Leadership Program, we launched a Faculty Curriculum Community that works collectively to strengthen the program. We’re working on opportunities to partner with local organizations to provide live project opportunities for students in the program.


What would we be surprised to learn about you?

I have twin sons and 5 grandchildren. I play the guitar and particularly enjoy the blues and southern gospel. St. Louis has a great music scene so I try to catch shows at Broadway Oyster Bar or the Symphony.

Alumni Tutors Needed!

On October 5, 2015, in Announcements, St. Louis Business Community, by Walker News

Calling all Walker School graduates with finance experience. you are invited to share your expertise with students by serving as a tutor for current students.  We are in need of tutors to assist students who are pursuing their MBA degrees from the Walker School.  In particular, we are seeking volunteers to tutor students in the areas of finance, accounting, statistics and economics.

hs-programming-3You can tutor based on your own schedule; either once a week, once a month or every other month.  Tutors are needed Monday – Thursday between the hours of 4:30 -7 p.m. at Webster University’s metropolitan St. Louis area campus locations, as well as its home campus in Webster Groves and its off-site corporate locations.  Online tutoring options are also available. Tutors receive a letter of appointment from Webster’s Academic Resource Center and are paid for the time spent tutoring.

If you are interested in giving back to the Webster University community, please contact Dr. Caprice Moore at or 314-246-5950 for more information.


Walker Students had a unique opportunity this fall to participate in a new course: BUSN 5850 Publicly Traded Company Research. The course is taught by John Stievens, an experience adjunct professor who teaches Financial Management, Investments, and Managerial Finance and brings over 15 years of experience in the industry into the classroom.

The course takes a hands-on approach as teams of three or four students have the opportunity to meet with top management, visit company sites, develop financial models, and then publish an in-depth investment research report. The reports are distributed to institutional and individual investors through Zacks Investment Research. Students receive extensive training in the field of equity analysis and valuable experience to add to their resume.

huttigbuildingstudentvisitThe class has visited two organizations so far, starting with Huttig Building Products on Monday, September 14. At Huttig, the class met with Jon Vrabely, President and CEO; Rebecca Kujawa, General Counsel; and Don Hake, Controller / Treasurer.  During the two hour visit, CEO Vrabely provided the group with an overview of the company, its industry, competitors and products and answered questions.  Controller Hake then provided a financial overview.  “To have a company CEO spend two hours with students shows HBP’s outstanding commitment to our students.” said Mr. Stieven.

lmiaerospacestudentvisitOn Tuesday, September 15 the class visited  LMI Aerospace and met with Cliff Stebe, Chief Financial
Officer and Amy Horton, Director of Corporate Communications.  During the first of a two hour visit, CFO Stebe provided an overview of the company using their standard Investor Presentation and answered student questions.  During the second hour, Amy Horton escorted us on a tour of LMIA’s fabrication, machining, and assembly facility in St. Charles.  “We really have a much better understanding of LMIA’s products and manufacturing process after the briefing by CFO Stebe and the plant tour” said student, Rabiu Ahmad.

Two additional visits are scheduled with Peak Resorts and American Railcar Industries.

As one of the few universities in the United States to offer a course that introduces students to this kind of company research and then publish it, Walker students have a unique opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competition — and land a much sought after job!

FINC 5890 Publicly Traded Company Research will be offered again in the Spring term for students considering an additional elective opportunity. Space is limited and registration opens in October.


Guest Contributor: Debbie Psihountas, Ph.D., MBA Director

Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology introduced a new version of their largest degree program, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) in fall of 2014. This new 1-Year MBA is designed for adult learners who are able to work at a particularly rapid pace to complete their 37-hour program within twelve months. The 1-Year MBA had four distinct cohort groups in its inaugural year: two in St. Louis, one in Orlando, and one in Geneva.

Solving Real World Problems

Because of the size and cohort structure of the 1-Year MBA, I decided that this was a great time to try out some new learning ideas that I’d wanted to explore. One of these creative learning approaches used was the incorporation of live cases within courses.  Beginning in the fall of 2014, I reached out to a number of Webster University Corporate Partners to see if there was interest in partnering with our classes for the purpose of solving a “real life” business problem using student teams as consultants.cohort1

In meeting with Enterprise Bank, the idea arose to embed a case within MNGT 5990 – Corporate Responsibility and Society. The course is a blend of ethics, sustainability, and the strategic implications of corporate responsibility faced by business leaders.

Enterprise had a real-time issue that they were grappling with and they were happy to partner with us. Their senior executives in charge of risk management, human resources, and diversity and inclusion were already in the process of analyzing data to recommend a new corporate responsibility plan to their board in fall of 2015.

Community Engagement and Social Responsibility

Enterprise, like many organizations, strives to be a strong part of the communities in which it serves. As lenders, they are obligated to invest in lower-income communities as part of their banking mission, but Enterprise also wants to lead by example in the communities in which it operates. They donate a significant amount of funding to various causes throughout the year, but needed better tracking and analytics regarding expenditures and impact. They also were seeking to incorporate a process to allocate time for individual employees to be able to serve charities and nonprofits they were interested in helping throughout the year.

cohort2After several meetings with Enterprise executives and our instructor team, we put together a timeline and plans for the cohorts. Dr. Dustin Smith and Professor Andy Gonzalez did a terrific job designing a course assignment around this case opportunity.

Student teams worked on their cases while also completing the other learning requirements for MNGT 5990. Dr. Smith commented that “This was a tremendous opportunity for Webster MBA students to apply their skills to a challenging situation and create a bridge between the classroom and the practical.”

In the final week of classes, each of the cohort groups met at Enterprise Bank, and presented their recommendations.  Enterprise executives heard six distinct team presentations. While there was some overlap of ideas, recommendations, and overall analysis, it was interesting to see the different and creative approaches taken by each of the teams.

Real World Solutions

The end result? Enterprise received just-in-time analysis and recommendations to help make their own board recommendation, and the Webster 1-Year MBA students benefited from the opportunity to work on a real-time, real life problem relating to their course materials. A win all around!

Enterprise leadership was thrilled with what the students came up with. The final night of class was a day of double celebration. The students were thrilled with the success of their presentations, and they had, after an incredibly action-packed, challenging year of study, completed an MBA (in nearly all cases, while employed full time) in just 12 months.

Based on the success of this project, the Corporate Responsibility and Society instructors and I plan to continue to build on this project. There is a world of need and opportunity out there, and providing these types of real-world projects for our students strengthens them, our corporate partners, and our community.

debbie_psihountas_smFor further detail or information on this article or on the MBA, please feel free to contact me at For information regarding the 1-Year MBA program at Webster, visit










The Walker School of Business & Technology Walker EDGE will host an Internship Fair for all Webster students on Wednesday, September 9, from 12-2 p.m. in the East Academic Building, Edward Jones Commons.

internshipfairrealshotsThe Internship Fair enables students to get their resumes in the hands of potential employers who are hiring interns. Students can learn about internship opportunities, practice networking skills and find out what skills and qualities employers want. All majors are welcome.

The Walker EDGE Internship fair will feature companies from various industries, including Fleishman Hillard, Maritz, MOHELA, Wells Fargo Blayzer, Centric Group, Centene, Mercy, Scottrade, GL Group, and more.

Students should dress professionally for the event and bring plenty of resumes. For questions please contact the Walker EDGE office at 314-246-8221 or email

internshipfairrealshots2WALKER EDGE: Explore. Develop. Grow. Experience.  The Walker EDGE provides comprehensive professional development resources, courses, programs and guidance to students within the Walker School of Business and Technology. Opportunities offered by Walker EDGE are designed to enable students to develop their EDGE and set them up for success in achieving their career goals. Learn more at


jobshapersBrought to you by David Hults, Walker School Guest Columnist, Career Expert, Author and Speaker.

Throughout St. Louis, you can find associations that focus on trends within your industry, help you learn new compliance standards, or help job seekers find support. But there isn’t a network like this to help employed professionals work smarter, develop themselves, and shape their current jobs – until now.

The Job Shapers Network is the only one of its kind in our area, designed to provide professionals with career development strategies that will help them thrive in their workplace.

But let’s be honest – no one has an extra two hours in their workday for career development. That’s why you have to start thinking about implementing strategies in small bites, and that’s why the Job Shapers Network helps you develop strategies you can implement a little bit at a time, 15 minutes here and 10 minutes there.

What will this group do for you?Introduce you to new ideas about how to shape or “reshape” your job, creating a career path that’s satisfying for you and adds value to your organization. We’ll go beyond vague “advice” to provide tangible, individual steps that propel you forward in your career journey. Of course, these seminars are also useful to people who are considering a job change, but this is not designed to be a job seekers group.

How will we do it? Through rich content and a thought-provoking, monthly one-hour career strategy session, we’ll introduce action steps that will lead to personal career growth.

Why is this network necessary? Sometimes even successful professionals who are reaping the rewards of a job well done – and praise from others in their organization – can’t shake the nagging feeling that they could do more. They’re just not sure what. And there are other reasons why people find themselves without direction in a job, not knowing how to develop one’s self. Some might even feel dissatisfied, going nowhere, or like they’re just maintaining the status quo in their current job. Maybe you’ve found yourself thrust into a new role without really considering whether it is a good move for you. It’s also possible your organization just went through a major change or restructure, and there’s been no time for anyone to sufficiently communicate about how your individual career aspirations fit with this change. In either of these examples, a desire to remain employed, potentially increased compensation, and/or a belief that the new job might be a “resume builder” may tempt you. But if things don’t pan out as expected, job burnout could be next on your resume!

But this can be avoided, and the answer comes in driving your own career development, rather than just going with the flow or waiting to see what comes your way. Taking an active leadership role in your career plan isn’t just a good idea. It’s the whole idea. You can’t afford to gamble on the hope that your company will direct your career for you without your participation.

That’s why I created the “Job Shapers Network” – to empower professionals with the skills and strategies necessary to “reshape” their careers by directing their job, role and career growth without having to abandon the positive potential of one’s current organization.

Do you desire growth, development, acknowledgement, rewards and fulfillment in your career? Are you looking for recognition as a top performer in your workplace? If so, the Job Shapers Network was designed for you.

Get more information about the Job Shapers Network and register now for our monthly meetings at  (Space is limited)

david hults-webDavid Hults is a renowned Career Coach, Author and Speaker. Purchase his latest book at and receive a free online change behavior assessment. Learn more about how he can activate your career at Follow David’s blog at